Work has begun to install a traffic island on the A49 by Queenswood Country Park to enable bus passengers to safely cross the road to get to the bus stop on the opposite side.
Bus service 492 travels between Hereford and Leominster, stopping at Queenswood, but until now, passengers getting on or off at Queenwood to travel towards Hereford have had to run between cars on this busy main road. The new island will make crossing the road far safer.
This is the first of many improvements that partners Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and New Leaf, who will take on the full management of the site next week, have planned.
New Leaf Director, Stan Gyford, commented: “Being able to access this wonderful place by public transport is very important for lots of people so it is vital that we make it as easy and safe as possible. Using public transport is also far more sustainable and less damaging to the environment so an accessible bus service is a key part of a greener future for Queenswood.”
New Visitor Experience Officer, Rachel Hicks, added: “Many rural sites and attractions in Herefordshire can only be accessed by car and non-car users are increasingly disadvantaged. We want Queenswood to be accessible to all so this is a great first step.”
Local charities Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and New Leaf Ltd anticipate that the full transfer of the management of both Queenswood and Bodenham Lake from Herefordshire Council will be completed next week.
This ‘community asset transfer’ will herald a new era of inward investment for these much loved sites, which combined receive over 500,000 visits per year. The council will be leasing Queenswood and Bodenham Lake to the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and New Leaf partnership on a 99 year leasehold to continue to deliver improved public benefits.
Promoting sustainable living and a connection to nature is at the heart of the partnership’s vision for the sites. As one of the most visited tourist attractions in the county, Queenswood Country Park will once again have a visitor centre and shop, which will showcase a mix of ‘made in Herefordshire’ products while a local food hall is also planned.